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Author Topic: Wild Swans  (Read 5813 times)

tuftedduck

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Wild Swans
« on: October 06, 2009, 08:59:26 AM »

Went to a little, local book fair yesterday evening and picked up an absolute treasure.

"Wild Swans" by Jung Chang

Biographical work, three generation of a family living in China before, during and after the Cultural Revolution.

What dreadful life some people have to live.
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kitz

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Wild Swans
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2009, 11:02:42 PM »

>> "Wild Swans" by Jung Chang

Gosh I remember reading that what must now be about 15 years or so ago.  Like you say makes you appreciate how lucky you are.  Before reading it, I didnt really have much of an idea what it must have been like for the people of china and how hard life could be under such an oppressive ruler.  Long time since I read it but theres still bits and pieces I recall such as the grandmother being a concubine, the foot binding. Then her parents 'fall from grace' because of their views .. and was it the author being sent to work to work in the paddy fields in some remote area for many years. 
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tuftedduck

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Wild Swans
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 08:37:50 AM »

>>>and was it the author being sent to work to work in the paddy fields in some remote area for many years. <<<

Yes, along with all her classmates and indeed everyone of that age group.

Dreadful to think that all that oppression was taking place in my lifetime....the whole thing sounds like events from the middle ages.

And the Great Leader himself.....uneducated, dull of brain, crass in the extreme, and evil. How such persons get to positions of supreme power is beyond me, although he maintained his power and that of his regime by the systematic destruction of everyone else, even setting brother against sister, mother against father in a huge spy network.....each denouncing the other and being, in turn, themselves denounced.

There was also the great drive to make steel.
All the schoolchildren were taken from their classes, students from their lectures, peasants from the fields...everyone from their jobs......and all were instructed to build mini steel mills and produce the stuff ( some of these "mills" were little more that domestic fires, set up in homes, school playgrounds..anywhere )
As a result...no education for a generation ( always a ploy of the oppressive dictator )...and no produce collected from the fields resulting in mass starvation and the deaths of millions.

What was the Great Leaders idea to solve the famine crisis...he resolved that the problem was sparrows eating all the grain and rice...so take even more peasants off the land and employ them to go round killing all the birds.... 

Whatever you may think of todays politicians in this country..we are still very, very lucky compared to the majority of the world's population.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 08:51:18 AM by tuftedduck »
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kitz

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Wild Swans
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 11:22:33 PM »

OT alert - locks self in the NC

>> uneducated, dull of brain, crass in the extreme, and evil. How such persons get to positions of supreme power is beyond me,

He's not the only one though is he..  throughout history and theres several more recent ones.
Also look at Hitler and the Nazi's and how they successfully committed genocide against so many Jews. 
Wasnt it something like over 10 million Jews and other so called undesirables that were put to their deaths during the holocaust?

In fact even today, look at how women are treated in Afghanistan.  :'(

>> Whatever you may think of todays politicians in this country..we are still very, very lucky compared to the majority of the world's population.

Yes I suppose we are.
in fact in some instances I think we are too lapse on certain things in this country though, and let certain people get away with too much :/

One prog that I find interesting is Worlds strictest parents which is currently running series 2 on BBC3.   

Surprising what a difference a wee bit of discipline can make.   Im not talking about the oppressive stuff.. but even the more simple stuff just insisting that kids do know that they have to wear a school uniform.. and that bleating it looks awful on me doesnt cut it.  Afterall when they go to work in the real world.. then they have to obey what their boss says.. and many occupations still require a uniform.

If you watch the prog you'll understand what I mean. I think its rather unfortunate that some people seem to be growing up without an understanding of respect.
Its surprising what a difference just a week or so of living with a family who do insist on rules and regulations and what is right & wrong.. how much of a difference it can make to their outlook and behaviour.
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